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Old 02-15-2013, 06:59 PM   #1
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


I bought a 6 year old house and the furnace inlet iced over a few weeks ago.
Turns out the vents were too close under a deck, too close to a side wall, too close together, and the vent was too short.

The last two are in the installation manual; the first two are pretty obvious and the contractor acknowledges Trane tells them they are wrong.

It can't really be put into compliance, but Trane says that replacing the entire inlet with a larger size and extending it past the deck and sidewall will be adequate; leaving the vent where it is. Seems to me that the vent is still too close to the sidewall, but I won't argue with Trane.

The plumber screwed the water heater vent up also, even worse. Unfortunately the prior owner hired the plumber himself and won't tell me who it is (various people tell me it was his son, but he has three sons and no one has a name); but the heating contractor says he can fix it.

So, what is reasonable for me to insist the heating contractor do? In a previous converstion we agreed that if Trane said they did it wrong then they are responsible, but they really didn't offer to do the repairs for free. (Obviously there is no reason for them to fix the water heater for free, but it would be a nice gesture)
I don't want to be a jerk about this, but I don't want to be taken advantage of either.
I don't think we are talking about a huge amount here; 100' of PVC and however long it takes to run it.

Just looking for opinions.
Prior to my purchase, the house was only use as a summer weekend cottage; so hopefully the furnace and water heater haven't been damaged.


The building inspector feels terrible about passing something so clearly wrong, but that doesn't help much.


Last edited by Toller; 02-15-2013 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:20 PM   #2
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


contractor should make your furnace work ...and meet local codes...

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Old 02-15-2013, 11:54 PM   #3
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


Let me guess, you are North of the border up in Canada.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:46 AM   #4
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


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Let me guess, you are North of the border up in Canada.
70 miles east of the border. Why?

My lawyer assures me they have absolute legal responsibility for a professional installation regardless of the age; but I want to be fair.
People sometimes think I am Canadian because of my accent; does my needing to be fair also seem Canadian?
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:19 AM   #5
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


Extend both past the deck and insulate the exhaust. Having to lawyer up for such a simple project just baffles me.

Don't leave the exhaust under the deck. It will cause damage over time.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #6
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


3" PVC is a LOT more expensive (2X) than 2" and the elbows are very expensive. My company would charge around $500 to do that job but we must use higher priced 636 PVC. Nonetheless once you get to 3" the cost is high and it needs insulating and 2-4 hrs labor/pickup materials/driving time so it is not a cheap job for the installer. He could be making that on another job is his thinking. If you can get him to do it at cost then he likely will and won't make any $$ or lose any either. the shorter the run/length of pipe the better the furnace works and makes it more reliable so if they can go a shorter route out another wall then try get that done.
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Old 02-16-2013, 01:02 PM   #7
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


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Extend both past the deck and insulate the exhaust. Having to lawyer up for such a simple project just baffles me.

Don't leave the exhaust under the deck. It will cause damage over time.
It will be about 6' to get it out past the deck. They are concerned that it will freeze up, even insulated. (Western NY).

I agree that leaving it under the deck is bad, but don't want to go against Trane's recommendation.

Unfortunately I talk to my lawyer most days, so asking him about this was no big deal. Besides, at first people here were telling me my furnace was ruined so it was pretty important; but that seems like an exaggeration now.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


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It will be about 6' to get it out past the deck. They are concerned that it will freeze up, even insulated. (Western NY).

They don't freeze in -20F here or -40 where yuri is. I think you'll be safe.

I agree that leaving it under the deck is bad, but don't want to go against Trane's recommendation.
Up to you. There's no problems exceeding the quality of a factory recommendation though. Kind of like codes, they're the absolute minimum required to get by.

Unfortunately I talk to my lawyer most days, so asking him about this was no big deal. Besides, at first people here were telling me my furnace was ruined so it was pretty important; but that seems like an exaggeration now.
Nobody said your furnace was ruined in the first thread. It was said that recirculating exhaust gas will rust out burners and heat exchangers and to have yours checked by a qualified tech to see if it was damaged. Sorry if you took that as the furnace is toast, sight unseen . That was not the intent. If you have not caught it by now... we are a bunch of to the point techs. There is no reading between the lines when you get a reply.
I'm certain you'll get the issue resolved.
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:08 PM   #9
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


I have run them 10 feet under a deck and if insulated PROPERLY with refrigeration type armaflex insulation and properly sloped back to the furnace it won't freeze. Much better with a shorter run out the other wall. TRane is not recommending leaving it as is just extending it to solve the problem. We have to get to the point as nobody wants to spend $$ just worship them. Nothing in it for us here so whether you choose to believe us is your choice and you are welcome.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:30 AM   #10
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


A good reason to relocate it is if the deck is ever occupied by human occupants. Personally, I don't like the idea of CO being exhausted in an area directly beneath that which I occupy.
100 feet. Is that both runs added. At 50 foot each, why not reroute them vertically or the other side of the house. Also slope back towards the exhaust to trap the moisture and pump it out as , wait for it, condensate therefore not buildup at vent. And if extreme, there is a product called self regulating heating cable that is designed for different things. Some is for ice dams around your roof line. Some is for pipes exposed to the elements. It regulates at 6 watts per foot depending on cable chosen. Runs on 110v. Not a permanent fix but will get you through the chill when rates drop and construction is easier. Put it downstream of a thermostat that cuts off at 38 or so degrees, so it only comes on when close to freezing.
But if sloped down to furnace there should not be an issue with freezing.
Also if in near vicinity isn't the exhaust supposed to exit up and supply 90 down. Every one I have done is this way. Is the freezing problem a result of melt from the exhaust dripping down onto the pipe? Seems logical. If so intall a piece of sheetmetal as a diversion dam over the exhaust sloped away to divert dripping onto the fittings.
How tall is under deck area? How far below deck is exhaust? How far apart is the intake and exhaust openings of the fittings? My place is Donner Lake and there are ways to mitigate the climate. You just have to be smarter than the ice. Does the deck crawlspace area become completely enclosed. Supply and exhaust are to be pretty much equidistant and in the same pressure zone. The elevation is being equal there is no reason you cannot extend the supply and exhaust horizontally in opposite directions to mitigate recirc. Might have to knock a little snow away to keep air supply open below deck.
PS in Calif there are disclosure laws and if problem existed when property was purchased the seller is responsible. And this gets into criminal behaviour when it is hidden because it is a problem, much along the lines of fraud. Regardless, existing, undisclosed, fannie may or freddie mac. Look into it.

Last edited by dudleydoright; 02-19-2013 at 10:39 AM. Reason: fix
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:09 AM   #11
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


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A good reason to relocate it is if the deck is ever occupied by human occupants. Personally, I don't like the idea of CO being exhausted in an area directly beneath that which I occupy.
100 feet. Is that both runs added. At 50 foot each, why not reroute them vertically or the other side of the house. Also slope back towards the exhaust to trap the moisture and pump it out as , wait for it, condensate therefore not buildup at vent. And if extreme, there is a product called self regulating heating cable that is designed for different things. Some is for ice dams around your roof line. Some is for pipes exposed to the elements. It regulates at 6 watts per foot depending on cable chosen. Runs on 110v. Not a permanent fix but will get you through the chill when rates drop and construction is easier. Put it downstream of a thermostat that cuts off at 38 or so degrees, so it only comes on when close to freezing.
But if sloped down to furnace there should not be an issue with freezing.
Also if in near vicinity isn't the exhaust supposed to exit up and supply 90 down. Every one I have done is this way. Is the freezing problem a result of melt from the exhaust dripping down onto the pipe? Seems logical. If so intall a piece of sheetmetal as a diversion dam over the exhaust sloped away to divert dripping onto the fittings.
How tall is under deck area? How far below deck is exhaust? How far apart is the intake and exhaust openings of the fittings? My place is Donner Lake and there are ways to mitigate the climate. You just have to be smarter than the ice. Does the deck crawlspace area become completely enclosed. Supply and exhaust are to be pretty much equidistant and in the same pressure zone. The elevation is being equal there is no reason you cannot extend the supply and exhaust horizontally in opposite directions to mitigate recirc. Might have to knock a little snow away to keep air supply open below deck.
PS in Calif there are disclosure laws and if problem existed when property was purchased the seller is responsible. And this gets into criminal behaviour when it is hidden because it is a problem, much along the lines of fraud. Regardless, existing, undisclosed, fannie may or freddie mac. Look into it.
You have asked some excellent questions here. To fall under the discloure laws he would have had to know about it,and he probably didn't. It only freezes un high winds from the west and 0* and since he only used it as a summer house for a few weekednd ayear, he migh neve had a problem.

He was teh GC, but ha moved to Florida so suing him is pointless.

The can lower the pipes but that will kill a lot of basement storage, require condensate pumps, an the length is retricted. Other sides are difficult. The othe side is much longer an has many obstacles. The back is underground, and from is better sited, except it has an even bigger deck.

There is no good solution. How much would that heat tape cost to runfor 6 months at half time?

The water heater is even worse, but its not their problem and I can't find the plumber.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:57 AM   #12
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


Get a Trane installation manual, and fix it yourself, or hire someone that is handy and can read. Even a real plumber is cheaper than a liar, er lawyer.

Whats with the 100 feet? Thats 5 (20) foot lengths of pipe. That has to exceed Tranes allowable length for a flue.
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:31 AM   #13
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


The HVAC company is going to replace the 2" pipes with 3" and extend them to the end of the deck at no charge. That should be in complete compliance with all requirements. They tell me it is the only install they have ever done under a deck, and the guy who did it is no long with them. They are very sorry.
It will be about 52' each pipe. They could use 2.5" but say that 3" is standard so they will use that.

I have an even worse problem with the water heater. It is partly IN the deck, and is 4" from the sidewall. It is amazing it is still working. The homeowner was his own GC and his son did the work. I expect I will be paying for this one myself, but it shouldn't be too expensive.

I appreciate everyone's help.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:30 PM   #14
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


glad it's workin out 4 U. 3" is so large I have never had one freezeup and it goes below-30F regularly here. the exhaust should still be insulated. Had a bird migrate into a 3" pipe as it is so large he could get in but that is very rare and I think he must of thought he was Chris Columbo the great explorer. LOL.

Went as far as the inducer believe it or not.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:39 AM   #15
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What's reasonable to insist on here?


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glad it's workin out 4 U. 3" is so large I have never had one freezeup and it goes below-30F regularly here. the exhaust should still be insulated. Had a bird migrate into a 3" pipe as it is so large he could get in but that is very rare and I think he must of thought he was Chris Columbo the great explorer. LOL.

Went as far as the inducer believe it or not.
Would a screen over them be useful? The water heater instructions require a screen.

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